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Showing posts from February, 2020

Projects, Projects Everywhere, and Not a Finished One In Sight!

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I am officially heading towards panic time.

I have tons of things going on and nothing is really getting finished up. My stack of file folders to offer for sale is growing, but everything needs to be laminated, velcroed, and finished before it can be considered "ready." I have things that I need to get printed and then bound into books. I have projects that I want to make and offer just for fun because I remember how thrilled I used to be to find things about music therapy. I would like to give that thrill to someone else out there.

Maybe that's what I will do right now - forget about the stacks of things that are on my living room floor, forget about the existential crisis that I am slipping into because of other things happening around me, and forget about the pressure that I am placing on myself to achieve the vision of perfection that I have in my head about how I want all this to go, and just create some stuff.

I'm going to play around with paper and music therapy …

Thinking About the Future

I have been thinking about lots of futures this week - my own, that of my clients, my students, my interns, my professional organization, my profession. I'm not exactly sure why this has come up this week, but it has so I am going with it.

The personal future questions are coming up because I accomplished something on my "evolve" 2020 list. I spoke to a financial planner about retirement. Whoo-hoo to me for doing something so "middle-aged" and forward thinking!! I'm pretty clueless when it comes to saving for retirement other than just putting some money away every month in a retirement account. My sister, though, wants to retire in seven years and is pressuring me to go with her. I'm not sure if I will be able to do so, so that's what is spurring this particular task on.

So, I talked to this woman for a bit on Monday afternoon - after a difficult Monday - and we made plans to meet in person during my spring break. 

Oh! Another future thing. I have a c…

Tuesday at Teachers Pay Teachers: Just a General Set of Ideas

Let me start this off by saying a couple of things. First of all, I do not get any financial compensation from Teachers Pay Teachers by recommending this platform OTHER than the small amounts that I get paid when I sell you a file of some sort. Second, I do NOT talk about anything that I do not use personally, so all of the information that I include here are things that I use to spur my creativity and to develop therapeutic music experiences for my clients. If I don't mention it, then either it has no benefit for me as a person or as a therapist.

When I go on to let you know about creators on Teachers Pay Teachers, I just want to show you that there are people out there who are making wonderful files that can have a direct impact on what we, as music therapists working with all sorts of populations and in all sorts of situations, can actually do with our clients using the merger of music and visuals to further reinforce information. I also like showing you what is available to you…

Too Much In My Brain These Days

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I am in the most difficult part of my role as music therapy internship director right at this moment - that of observer and NOT therapist. My interns have taken over all groups but two and a practicum student has taken over one of the two groups leaving only one group per week for me. This will continue for the next two and a half weeks and then we'll have spring break, and I will get 10 groups back. In the meantime, I have to sit by the wall, watching and trying REALLY hard not to interfere in what my interns are doing in their group sessions.

As a result of all of my time sitting and watching, I've had lots of time to just think. So, I think about all sorts of things - the future of AMTA, the ways that the difference in age groups seems to be working - or not working, education, clinical training, TME ideas, the price of chocolate, the list of chores that I have to get done pretty soon, whether group members are engaged in therapy well, whether I will finish my day in a good …

Synthesis Sunday: Diving Into Winnicotts's Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship

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Whoo-ee. I haven't made it through the first sentence of this article without having to reach for my dictionary. I'm thinking this will be a long synthesis - mainly because I am not all that up on psychoanalytical paradigm jargon.

As I scan through the article that I've selected, (citation below if you want to read this with me) I think my new first step is to scan through, identify all the terminology that is unfamiliar to me, and then take the time to define that terminology so I can then read the article with some context of what is being said. 

Now, admitting that I don't know what is being said is a HUGELY humiliating thing for me to do. I pride myself on my intelligence and my mastery of vocabulary and of music therapy concepts. When I come across the world of psychoanalytic music therapy, however, my mind starts to shut down because I just do not understand what is being said. These are the times when my behaviorist/humanistic/sensory integration background come t…

My Time Consuming Quest

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I have been on a quest lately...

It's taking over my front room and spreading to my back room and just piling up everywhere. Even through the mess, I am really excited about what I am doing in my free time.

I have signed up to be an exhibitor at the Midwestern Region Conference for the American Music Therapy Association.

This is a big deal for me because I've never really thought about doing this before and several people have encouraged me to think about it and now I am moving out of my comfort zone and into my unsteady future by putting myself out there for others.

I have started my process of making visual aids for my exhibition hall debut. I have made a stack of visuals for all sorts of therapeutic music experiences, and I am getting myself organized so I have things to offer my fellow therapists.

The bits and pieces that go into making complete visuals are currently stored in a small box awaiting lamination. I have pigs and coins and animal cards and dinosaur rhythms. Everythi…

Finding Grace for Myself and My Faults

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I am my own worst critic.

Anyone else find that to be true? No other person ever seems to think that my failings are as catastrophic as I find them to be. I lie awake and think about every misstep that I have taken in my life and I end up in anxiety patterns that interrupt lots of other situations.

This seems to be a trend in those of us who are music therapists. We are naturally drawn to be with others. We love music so much that we want to share it with everyone in a way that allows those others to experience music with a therapeutic benefit. We constantly face skeptics and naysayers and people who think that they can do what we do because they have made a playlist. We fight for recognition in almost every interaction that we have with other people, and it can become exhausting. We often figure that our lack of recognition has much to do with our selves rather than with our society, and that is easy to personalize to the point of fatigue.

I have to stop and remind myself that I do what…

Tuesdays at Teachers Pay Teachers: 2 Learn Play and Grow

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My featured resource today is a Teachers Pay Teachers store, 2 Learn Play and Grow. I have the Circle Songs Growing Bundle and have found lots of song suggestions in that particular file. I'm not going to use these with my current clientele due to the simplicity of the files, but I enjoy having these resources in my library for inspiration.

There are 17 free files offered on the site, and most of them have very little to do with my role as a music therapist, but are things that I could see using if I was teaching. The store does offer three free music-related resources - a Learning Letters Circle Time Song set, a set of songs for fall circle time, and a toothbrushing song set. I love free resources, and these are very visually engaging.

One of the best things about Teachers Pay Teachers (in my opinion) is that every time I browse, I end up with more TME ideas than I can accomplish. I can find lesson resources on almost any topic ever, and this always stirs my creative juices to the …

Synthesis Sunday: Winnicott - The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship

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After a hiatus, I am getting back into my process of reading things and starting to look at them from my professional perspective. Inspired by several of the folks that I heard during the Online Conference for Music Therapy, I decided to FINALLY read Winnicott's writings about holding and relationships and every single thing I could find on the internet for free. (I don't have lots of extra money to be spending on subscriptions, and I could use my state library card to get access to more, but I'm not exactly sure how to do that, so I'm not going to dedicate time to that process right now...) The first thing that I found was an article that was written in 1960.

Winnicott, D.W. (1960). The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship1. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 41:585-595

It was free, so I have it printed out and am ready to start reading.

Here's what I know about Winnicott before starting to read all of this. Lots of people reference his writing, especially in the internationa…

Time to Buckle Down and Get Going

To-Do List:
Board of Directors Annual Meeting for OCMTMake file folder activities for MWRAMTA in AprilLaundryDishesVacuumCat BoxCat WaterBloggingMaking other things for MWRAMTA's booth Change filters in my waterSet up new work plannerWrite TMEs for May release - sing about mini editionPrepare talk to local high school for Monday at 1pmGrocery shopCook large meals and portion them out for freezingTaxesOrganize every little thing around me!!Sounds realistic for a three day weekend, right?

I like three day weekends better than longer vacations. Three days is enough to get lots of things done, and they tend to refresh me better than a week off. In a week, I just get into the habit of afternoon naps when it is time to head back to work. If I can get through two weeks of napping, I tend to saturate on naps and I want to go back to work. We don't get two weeks of vacation anymore so I never really feel completely rested. Anyway...

Three days is enough time to get a bit of rest and is al…

Ugh. Valentine's Day.

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I am such a holiday Scrooge sometimes. I am not a fan of holiday hype of almost any kind, but I really don't like Halloween or Valentine's Day. I don't know why, but it's probably based in years of having to celebrate in an extroverted way - cards for everyone! Costumes and opening the doors and going to people's houses - not really something that I like a whole lot. 

I don't really get into too much celebration in the music therapy room. This may be because I really don't care about the holidays, but I also justify it in the fact that kids often get REALLY wrapped up in strong emotions around the holidays. (Wow, three "really"s in one paragraph...I need to get out my thesaurus!) If I'm going to spend some time and effort on coming up with something new to do in the month of February, I will usually focus on historical events or Groundhog's Day or something completely unrelated.

For me, the day will be a planning/preparation day at work. I d…

Ice Day - I'm Staying Home!: Thoughtful Thursday

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I have always made it part of my pride that I was able to go to work even on the most snowy days. I used to spend the night at work when the weather was really bad so that I didn't have to get out and be a problem for the transportation department. I spent nights camped out on the music therapy room floor, somewhat comfortable on couch cushions borrowed from around the facility. I no longer do that.

Today I awoke to find that it was slick and icy outside. Now, I went to the transportation department's website where it indicated that all the roads that I take were "partially covered." Translation? There may have been a couple of treatments done, but nothing is clear yet. I went outside to check - sidewalks are very slick and the drive is also slick. There isn't much sense in trying to drive 50 miles when getting out the drive takes 15 minutes (it's 147 feet to the street). The folks on the street were not going very fast, so I opted for safety for myself and my…

When Illness is All Around You...

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I am currently in the throes of my February ick - something I get every year at this time, something undefined and vague, but something that happens in February every single year. I went to the doctor last week and had a flu test (because that bug has descended upon my primary workspace) which came back negative (after starting a nosebleed that lasted for about 25 minutes). My clients have a combination of influenza and/or strep, and I'm actually thankful for my own kind of ick because a)no one has the same symptoms as me AT ALL, and b)this ick seems to protect me from the other forms of ick going around.

Now, here's where I stress the idea of using universal precautions.

The idea of universal precautions means that you treat the bodily fluids of every single person as possible sources of germs...which they are...and treat them the same way all the time. Hand washing, disinfecting surfaces and instruments, and wearing gloves when needed are basic ideas and tenets to this concept…

I'm Just Not Interested in This Right Now

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I have moved from a place of wanting to post every single day on this blog to my current viewpoint of "Eh." Since my attitude has changed so recently, I haven't posted much in the past three weeks. I've been so silent that Facebook is noticing! "You haven't posted in a while. Why not post something on this page so your followers will keep in touch." Thanks, Facebook, just what I need - an algorithm that chides me for my shortcomings!

So, here is my explanation post.

I have no explanation. I just haven't wanted to write lately, so I've been giving myself permission to stay in bed or to skip things entirely. I'm calling it mindfulness and all sorts of other things to justify why this is happening, but I really think it is just part of the ebb and flow of life. There you go. Sometimes ideas come to you quickly and other times ideas flit around, just out of reach and refuse to settle into a semblance of a paragraph.

I believe that writing daily is …

The Week That Was

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It has been a long, difficult week - in good difficult ways and not-so-good difficult ways. The Online Conference for Music Therapy was about halfway finished at this time last week. I was firmly in my moderator role, listening to folks talking about music therapy in their places in the world. I always love this conference - this very wonderful change to increase my perspective on what music therapy is and should be - but it always wears me out! I am almost always either sick or getting sick at this time every year, so I have the double whammy of lots of things to do as well as lots of need for rest and self-care.

This past week was exhausting. My students are getting influenza and strep. I went to the doctor on Tuesday because I wasn't sure that my particular bit of germ donation to my environment wasn't the flu. (After an EXCRUCIATING brain probe to test the mucus in the back of my nasal passages) I found out that I was negative-negative for influenza. I was back to being a m…